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Thread: GE Service Warning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Villa Park, CA
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    1,407

    GE Service Warning

    I'll pass this story along in case any of you encounter the same thing - so you won't be shocked as I was.

    I have a GE side-by-side refrigerator and it started icing in the freezer section - ice was running down the sides. So I call GE Service and they tell me the service call will be $100 (rounded). The guy comes in, opens the freezer and says, "Yep, there's ice. You need an ice kit."

    After some discussion, he discloses that the "ice kit" is about $900. To say I was surprised is to put it mildly, and I was somewhat at a loss for words.

    I pay the guy the $100 and after he leaves, I do some research on the web. Looking at the operation of the defrost, it seems to me that the most likely cause is a "tray heater" which sells for about $60. If I add $100 for labor to install it, we're in the ballpark of what I expected the repair to cost.

    The more I think about this, the more upset I get. Here's my major complaints:

    1. The service technician did nothing to find the failing part. He just looked in the freezer and said, "You need an ice kit". I told them when I ordered the service that there was ice in the freezer, running down the sides, so they could have told me at that time about the "ice kit". There was no need for me to pay $100 to have the technician verify my observation.

    2. I object to putting in a "kit" when there's likely only one failed part. Putting in a kit is just putting a cost on the owner so the technician doesn't have to do any diagnostic work.

    They could argue that, if one part failed, the others might be ready to fail. But that's a decision for me to make, not for them to force onto me. I may decide I'm willing to take the chance. If it fails again, I'll pay more but if it doesn't fail, I saved some money. But it's my decision to make, not theirs.

    To add insult to injury, after the guy left, I took a hair dryer and defrosted the ice. Since then, it hasn't iced up again. So maybe the drain got blocked and my defrosting it cleared it. Only time will tell.

    So if you need service from GE, make sure you come to an understanding with the service tech before you allow him/her into the house.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    17,475
    almost sounds like a scam mike!!! i think i would have a few words with some one higher up and tell them your thoughts clearly.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,260
    I could not agree more. There are several of these types of deceptive practices going on lately Mike. One now has to be a lawyer and ask all kinds of questions in the hope that you hit one that unlocks the magic door. Cant stand it. I vote with my feet and wallet when this kind of thing happens. As for the kit you are dead right. The guys have an inability to diagnose the correct part and they dont want to be coming back for a warranty repair at their cost of arguing with the customer that a different part causing the same fault has not gone faulty.

    Sadly its the duming down process again IMHO. That and the desire to get you to consume rather than repair.

    I have a ice making mechanism that needs repair. I am going to tackle it myself. Whats the worst that can happen. It stays broken or I get lucky and fix it.

    Thanks for the heads up.
    cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hedgesville,WV
    Posts
    158
    I'm cheap...I'd replace the entire unit for less than 9 bills... appliances are "throw aways" these days, and it doesn't pay to invest alot into them. some may disagree, but dollar for dollar, the cheaper units are the most cost effective. I, for one, can't understand paying upwards of 2 grand for a refridge/freezer.. and I've seen models costing more than that...
    no way in THIS lifetime!!!
    "Treat everyone equally,keep your word, and overlook peoples' mistakes...you'll make plenty yourself "..... spoken to me by a much wiser man than I.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    5,322
    Mike,
    Since you live in Tustin - there's an appliance parts place just off Edinger - between the 55 and Grand (can't remember the exact street name) that has nearly all the parts for a GE fridge. The main counter guy is really good, and could probably diagnose your problem and sell you the needed parts from memory.

    I also had a GE, and the water/icemaker solenoid kept acting up on it. The counter guy -before I even got to the counter - saw the old part I had in my hand, and said "GE water solenoid! You need one of these..." and reached under the counter and had the part in hand. The disconcerting thing was when he said "These only last about a year..." as I was paying for it, and "See you next year!" as I was leaving.

    When I sold the house, I left the GE fridge in it.

    BTW, this same guy also showed me a microwave door switch substitution that cost less than 1/10 of what a (GE) OEM part did.

    Some say that "GE" stands for 'good enough.' I'm not so sure...
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    The list of things I could fix at work if I could just forklift-repair them while someone else pays the bill is endless.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Villa Park, CA
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    Thanks for your comments. Jim - I'll check out that place on Edinger.

    Just to tell the whole story, I did send an e-mail to GE Service saying the same thing that I posted above. I received a call today from them but the representative was no help - in fact, he made things worse - arrogant, wanted to talk down to me, and just completely refused to see my side of the situation. I closed by saying that all further communications between us is to be done by e-mail or snail mail. But I'm not optimistic.

    Regarding replacing the unit, it's a built-in so replacing it is a bit of a problem. A regular referigerator would leave open space around the unit, so I'd have a woodworking job, in addition.

    Let me say that the unit has been a good unit. It's about 15 years old, so I'm not upset at the need for service. What I'm upset about is the approach of GE Service. There's no way it should cost $1,000 to make this repair ($100 for the initial visit and $900 for the actual repair).

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    We had a nearly new GE hot water heater fail. I contacted the vendor, they referred me to GE. GE simply would not do anything even with my heated exhortations that it was still under warranty.
    We have a GE electronic air filter on our furnace. It quit working. I contacted GE and they claimed they did not make or sell such a thing.
    I took pictures of the metal label and sent to GE. Their response did not change. They still claim they don't make or sell such a unit.
    No more GE anything for me anymore.
    We got a Marathon hot water heater and I went to standard filters on the furnace.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    5,322
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    Thanks for your comments. Jim - I'll check out that place on Edinger....Mike
    Mike,
    Found it in an old phone book. It's Coast Appliance Parts, 1702 S. Lyon, in Santa Ana. About two blocks South of Edinger, as I recall.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    We had a similar problem with ours and it was the little door at the top of the freezer that lets cold air into the fridge that was stuck open. The part was $30-$40 as I recall. It was under warrenty.

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